High Court of Delegates

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Getting Started

As the last court of appeals, this court should be searched last after all other courts.  In many cases, a reference to a will that went through the Court of Delegates will also have been found in one of the Provincial or Chancery courts.  See the Indexes and Jurisdictions sections below.


  • The Genealogist magazine has published an index to the wills handled by this court in vols. 11 (pages 165-171, 224-227) and 12 (pages 97-101) covering the years 1651-1857.  (See the reference below.)  Not that many wills went to the highest court durin over 200 years -- only about 325 total.


Records are available:


The Court of Delegates, or High Court of Delegates, was a court of appeals from the Court of Arches (Province of Canterbury) and the Court of Chancery (Province of York), including their peculiars, royal peculiars, and the Irish probate courts. "It was so called because the Judges were delegated for each prticular case...  The High Court of Delegates was abolished in 1832 when the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was established  ...Wills [continued to be] proved before the latter body until the creation of the Court of Probate [1857]." [1]  Read more in The High Court of Delegates by G.I.O Duncan. Select pages from the book are on Google Books.

  1. Harwood. H. W. Forsyth, ed. "The Genealogist." (Family History Library book 942 B2gqm, N.S. vol. 11, page 165.)